“The Emperor Has No Clothes!”

Rosslyn Smith sees a profound irony in the location of next week’s climate summit: Copenhagen, the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen’s story, The Emperor’s New Clothes.

It begins, after all, with two con men who promise they can weave cloth of unsurpassed beauty to the enlightened but which would be invisible to any man who was unfit for his office or unpardonably stupid. They would then tailor that fabric into a fabulous suit of clothes for the emperor. The emperor invested in the venture because such traits would be useful to someone like himself as emperors tend attract both sycophants and self serving manipulators.

Smith notes that the real lesson of the story is not the arrogance of the emperor, but the willingness of his courtiers to suspend reason in support of an obvious lie. The parallels to the current global warming crusade are remarkable.

I can almost excuse the politicians and the speculators who promoted AGW.  Like Anderson’s emperor, they invested in a tool that would advance their self-interest. Representative democracies are supposed to have checks and balances to help keep such self-interest within reasonable bounds. In addition to the way the researchers themselves violated scientific standards, the actions of our journalists and educators who jumped on the AGW bandwagon made matters worse.  People in these positions are supposed to promote healthy skepticism. Journalists see themselves as the guardians of transparency in government and educators in the pursuit of enlightenment.  In fact, our legal system grants special rights to journalists because of their role as the watchdogs and whistle blowers.

But like the emperor’s court, our media and academia have chosen to play along with the scam. Now, finally, someone has had the courage to lay bare for all the world to see that, indeed, the whole enterprise was fabricated out of thin air.

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